Betrayal of british Fighting Men and Women



I've had a look around and haven't seen any posts about this article, so here it is.

While waiting at a service station to pick up a mate on the Sunday shuffle back to Aldershot i was reading the Idependant on Sunday (not my usual read but the front page caught my eye), and saw this article:

Betrayal of British Fighting Men & Women

"I have lost my house, my security and any self-belief. I want to know what the Government is going to do for people suffering the same as me?"

Today, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the war launched to oust Saddam Hussein, that is a question being asked by leading politicians, Army welfare charities, senior military figures and the forgotten soldiers themselves.

As part of a new campaign to achieve justice and care for the estimated 20,000 victims of what was once called shell shock, high-profile figures have signed a letter, published today by this newspaper, which calls on Tony Blair to show the fair and just treatment our servicemen and women deserve.

They have called on the Government and the Army to stand by the military covenant, a pledge given to British troops that they will receive decent medical care and support in return for their sacrifices.

That covenant has been broken. The Independent on Sunday today publishes harrowing testimony from soldiers who have served their country - only to face inadequate treatment, for physical and mental injuries; to lose their homes after being discharged; to be jailed for conditions caused by the mental trauma of war; and denied the right to have their grievances heard.

More than 17,000 troops are estimated to be suffering from anxiety and depression, and around 3,500 reservists are thought to be facing similar problems. Yet, between January 2003 and October 2006, only 2,123 military personnel received treatment for mental health conditions from the MoD; of these, 328 were diagnosed with PTSD.

Specialists at King's College London estimate that up to one in four soldiers suffers from mental problems after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Charities, including Combat Stress and the Royal British Legion, which provide support for soldiers, warn that the figure could rise: doctors are poor at recognising conditions such as PTSD, and servicemen and women are reluctant to open up to people without battle experience. They say it could take years for those serving in current conflicts to seek help and that there will be a huge social cost unless urgent action is taken.

Signatories to the letter published overleaf believe that those serving in - and returning from - the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have become the forgotten soldiers....

It's a long article so i've only posted a portion of it.

I'd like to think that a letter like this would help the cause and possibly if not change the governments stance on this then at least bring this problem to a wider audience, which might put pressure on the government to rectify the situation.

But a part of me thinks it's just a sly chance to have a dig at the governement on the 4th aniversary of the invasion of Iraq, or maybe i just see the bad side of everything.

Edited because i'm a quote mong
It seems to me that the majorit of papers are having a pop at the government via the Armed Forces lately.
As you say though, something tells me its just an excuse to have a go, rather than actually giving a damn about the state of the Armed Forces.
I do hope im mistaken.


There is a tendency to think this is just the press bashing the government but at the end of the day it puts these issues on the agenda and that can only be a good thing.
Of course it can only be a good thing, if applied in the right way.
Lets look at the forces Housing fiasco a month or so ago.
Headlines, loads or TV and Radio time for a week or so then.................................................................................
what? whats happened? Where is the follow up?
The press are a powerful medium, but when things are forgotten about after a week then opinions/policies wont change.
It is up to the media to keep up the pressure, wether we like it or not, the great unwashed are near enough controlled by it.
When topics are forgotten about after such a short time papers may aswell just have this as a headline everyday.


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